Rachel Dodes looks at the rise of texting onscreen in movies/television. In House of Cards:
Executive producer David Fincher, who directed the first two episodes of the show, decided that he wanted the texts to appear almost as text bubbles with a pale blue or gray background, depending on who was sending the message, as opposed to showing close-ups of phones. After he proposed the caption idea, Mr. Willimon showed him some clips from “Sherlock,” which depicts texts on screen as white subtitles in a Helvetica font, and asked “Is this what you had in mind?” Mr. Fincher “was a bit bummed that it had been done before,” he says. “But good ideas are good ideas.”
Indeed. I really liked the way texting was handled in House of Cards, right down to the iOS-like details.
Anthony Ha for TechCrunch:
Yet when I watched House of Cards, I really enjoyed the space between the episodes, when I could wonder about what happens next and anticipate the next time I’d have an hour or two to catch up. That’s not a new idea — in fact, it’s one of the main pleasures of television. But I think it’s something people lose sight of when they talk about bold new distribution models.
I agree, this topic is being lost in the larger debate. I believe I prefer the House of Cards model for the same reason I’ve long preferred watching shows on DVD rather than when they air — I like to binge.
But I do miss some of the “watercooler” effect of everyone talking about what just happened on Lost this week — something which the very existence of Twitter has essentially perfected. There’s still definitely a watercooler effect with House of Cards but it’s more about the show in general rather than specific plot points since we’re all likely at different parts of the show right now (unless we’re doing with season 1 already, of course).
David Carr for NYT:
Netflix, which has 27 million subscribers in the nation and 33 million worldwide, ran the numbers. It already knew that a healthy share had streamed the work of Mr. Fincher, the director of “The Social Network,” from beginning to end. And films featuring Mr. Spacey had always done well, as had the British version of “House of Cards.” With those three circles of interest, Netflix was able to find a Venn diagram intersection that suggested that buying the series would be a very good bet on original programming.
Doesn’t this just reek of Firefly also making a comeback? I alluded to all of this a couple of years ago. And now it’s playing out…
Rebecca Greenfield for The Atlantic Wire looks at the economics of Netflix doing shows like House of Cards (which I haven’t started watching yet, but have heard some pretty good things).